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Ok, since we got Boris looking so good I am thinking about if there is anything I can do for Shep. He is 15, 1/2 Golden 1/2 American Eskimo. He very seldom needs a bath. he used to love to be brushed but hates it now. I think his skin is sensitive because of his age and he has lots of lumps and bumps. His coat has that thick undercoat that looks like matting but it's not. Those hairs that are tangled together and causes his hair to "part"..I hope you know what I mean..hard to describe. I gently brush him often but it doesn't really do squat for the under coat. I tend to just want to leave him alone because he is such a good boy and he is so old...I just want him to be happy. Should I just leave it as is or give him a bath and try to tackle this under coat mess. It would be distressing for him and I don't know of an easy way to deal with it.
Thanks!
 

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If he is a house dog and easily kept warm in the winter I would recommend clipping him. I hesitate to recommend this in the winter and would suggest holding off until spring but if the coat is really an issue, clipping really helps. I did that with all my old Aussies and it clearly made them more comfortable. It would also make it much easier to bath him and eliminate the need to brush, which he no longer likes. Some of my old guys had problems with hot spots in the summer and clipping completely eliminated that problem.

I'm sure some will think this is a drastic measure but the behavior of the dog after clipping makes it worth it. Some of mine actually acted like puppies...it put a spring in their step and they were more active. Like I said....I hesitate to recommend this in the winter but sometimes you need to do drastic things to fix a problem. I would have no problem recommending this in the spring.

Willow101
 

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Willow101 has a good idea.
If you don't want to do that until spring, perhaps you could find a groomer known for being good with older dogs (ask around) who'll give him a good bath and have his coat blown out. For dogs there is a super-industrial strength hair dryer that will literally blow hair straight as long as it's not matted and will blow loose an unbelievable amount of shedding hair.

Or you could always try just brushing a quarter of him a day. Right hind today, right front tomorrow, etc. Easier and better for both of you then doing a quickie job all over. He may look a little funny, but who cares?
 

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Another alternative would be to do a modified 'sanitary' clip. This would mean clipping in between the hind legs and the rectal area. You could also clip 'arm pits' and a strip from between the front legs to back legs. This is a narrow strip that helps keep the dog clean and eliminates brushing on hard to get at and sensitive areas. Depending on how long the hair is, if done correctly, when the dog is standing the hair hangs down and you can't see the clipped strip. The clipped area itself isn't very wide but eliminates a lot of hair that gets muddy and matted.

This doesn't eliminate grooming but it sure makes it a whole lot easier on both the groomer and the dog.

Willow101
 
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